WELCOME TO WHERE MY MIND AND WRITTEN WORDS COLLIDE. JOIN ME AS I EXPRESS MY THOUGHTS ON WELLNESS, SOCIAL ISSUES AND MORE. AT TIMES, I AM VERY RAW AS A WRITER WHICH MAY BE DIFFICULT FOR SOME TO DIGEST SO PLEASE BE MINDFUL.
Laqwanda Roberts-buckley mental health advocate
When you meet Jonathan, you immediately fall in love with his personality. He is friendly, makes you laugh and focus. The thing that drew me to Jonathan was his extensive and diverse background. He is a true man of the arts. Pre COVID days, he was a dance for the Washington Wizards NBA Team. He traveled the Country as a dancer and actor in musicals and theatre productions. He is knowledgeable about flexibility and life as a Creator (as I am one). More importantly, he makes you feel at home in his presence. He truly is a “I’ve never met a stranger” type of person.
I remember the day I approached him about my goals. I showed him a picture and he told me simply “I got you”. With those words, I began to embark on a journey that I am still surprised that I am on. I would become even more surprised how much of a benefit he would become to me.
My first session with Jonathan made my inner soul scream as my body felt as if it was slammed against a wall for no damn good reason. It was only 30 minutes but mentally it felt like an eternity. Although I had known Jonathan for years, I looked at him differently after those first 30 minutes. I both hated and appreciated him to say the least. One of the things I appreciated was the time he took to correct me when my movements and positions were off. I was grateful for the encouragement when I felt like I had nothing left in me to give. And I was thankful for the lessons on controlling my breathing. As an asthmatic, this was vital to me. As a person who manages PTSD, this would mean so much more.
If you know me well, then you know I openly speak about managing Bipolar I Disorder and PTSD. I talk about my struggles and successes during my wellness journey. Although I speak more about how Bipolar Disorder has impacted my life more often, PTSD tends to hit just as hard. After being assaulted in 2019 and going through a long court process, I began experiencing symptoms related to PTSD again. These included nightmares, night sweats, anxiety and panic attacks. I often found myself crippled and unable to move as a result. As time moved on, the symptoms lessened for a while then resurfaced after watching a mandatory HR video regarding harassment in the workplace.
I again found myself experiencing that uncomfortable feeling that comes with battling a mental health condition. I am usually mentally forecasting the destruction that may take place as a result of the symptoms before anything ever happens. The illness within my mind begins to creep in an attempt to modify my daily routine and destroy my affirmations. The anxiety I experience during these times is extremely high as I prepare battle strategies for the internal war to come.
These battles come and go and they can become intense. I utilize every weapon within my toolbox each time my enemy also known as PTSD attacks. One morning, however, things began to change, and I owe it to my Personal Trainer Jonathan. I remember laying in bed not wanting to workout. The idea made me want to cry. I had been dealing with anxiety that morning and I felt myself struggling. I had made the decision to continue with my schedule and meet with Jonathan.
During that hour, I did things with my body I never thought I could do. Jonathan pushed me and encouraged me and reminded me of the basics. Repeatedly, he would correct me about my shoulders and my foundation. He would call out my misplaced legs or stance. Most importantly, he reminded me to breathe and taught me how to breathe correctly. After the workout, I was completely drained, slept, and thought nothing of it until the next day.
As the new day approached, my heart served as my alarm clock. POUND. POUND. POUND. I knew that feeling all too well. It was starting to happen. I was about to have an anxiety attack. As I braced myself for the worst, I lifted my arm and felt the soreness from my workout the day before. That is when it hit me, everything that Jonathan has stated during that session came back to me.
I immediately thought about my foundation, shoulders, and began to physically relax my muscles. I became mindful of my breath and used every breathing technique he taught me during our workouts. I remembered the difficult moments during the workout and heard his voice telling me I could do it.
In that moment, I began a full fledge war with the anxiety attack. I fought for 20 minutes constantly reminding myself of the lessons I had acquired during my workout session. I reminded myself of the victories and how that felt like to finish. As these thoughts flooded my mind, the symptoms of anxiety decreased then slowly faded.
When I started this part of my wellness journey, I was excited about the changes my body would experience. However, I am grateful for the changes that are taking place in the realm of my mental wellness also. Being a mental health professional myself, I value this greatly. As I work to challenge my body with Jonathan, I am developing tools to challenge my mind even more. I am grateful for this new growth and my new therapy session.